The Copper Belly Water Snake: A Fascinating Species of Reptile
The copper belly water snake is a species of non-venomous snake found in the United States. It is a semi-aquatic species, meaning it spends much of its time in and around water. This species is native to the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, but can also be found in parts of Canada and Mexico. The copper belly water snake is an interesting creature with many unique characteristics that make it a fascinating species to observe.
Identifying the Copper Belly Water Snake
The copper belly water snake can be identified by its distinctive coloration. Its back is usually dark brown or black, while its underside is a bright copper color. It has a long, slender body with smooth scales and can reach lengths of up to four feet. The head is usually darker than the body and has two large eyes with round pupils.
Habitat and Diet
The copper belly water snake prefers habitats near bodies of water such as streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and marshes. It feeds mainly on fish, frogs, tadpoles, crayfish, and other aquatic creatures. It will also eat small mammals such as mice or voles if they are available.
The copper belly water snake is an active species that spends much of its time foraging for food in shallow waters or along the shoreline. When threatened or disturbed it will often coil up into a tight ball or flatten itself against the ground in an attempt to appear larger and more intimidating. If this does not work it may flee into the water where it can swim quickly away from danger using its powerful tail as a propeller.
The copper belly water snake mates during the spring months when temperatures begin to rise. Females lay clutches of up to 20 eggs which hatch after about two months incubation period. The young snakes are independent from birth and must fend for themselves immediately after hatching.
The copper belly water snake is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List due to its wide range and stable population numbers throughout most of its range. However, there are some areas where populations have declined due to habitat destruction or over-collection for pet trade purposes so conservation efforts should be taken to ensure this species does not become threatened in the future.